Paulette Armstrong Obit

Paulette Armstrong

April 2, 1960 - November 30, 2022

Paulette Armstrong  

Paulette Armstrong transitioned peacefully on Wednesday, November 30, 2022. Beloved mother of David Nichols; beloved grandmother of Amir David Nichols; daughter of William and Carolyn Armstrong; sister of Darnell Armstrong, DeAnna Braithwaite, and Darleen Smith. Service will be held on December 19, 2022 at Reid Temple A.M.E. Church, 11400 Glenn Dale Blvd., Glenn Dale, MD 20769. 

Visitation 10 a.m. until time of service at 11 a.m. Interment immediately following at Gate of Heaven Cemetery. Arrangements by Henry Funeral Home, Zhaden T. Myster, P.A.

Published by The Washington Post on Dec. 17, 2022.

Paulette Michelle Armstrong

Dawn – April 2, 1960       Dusk – November 30, 2022

Paulette was a beautiful spirit who believed in love as the activating force of her life. She loved her family and friends and showed compassion while encompassing God’s love with her whole being. 

And so, we can rest assured that Paulette’s time with all of us was filled with an abundance of beautiful memories, love and unforgettable moments. Paulette was an open soul, and both welcomed and showed love to many. She was easy to talk to and a great listener.

The oldest of five siblings, her parents instilled in her Christian values and the importance of education. Paulette valued her comedic and loving conversations with her Mother. Paulette and her Mother utilized and cherished every moment together whether shopping together , or sneaking away to dine at businesses with all the taboo foods for their diet.

They traveled all over the area, and on the Eastern Shore. As Carolyn grew older, Paulette proved her role as a true protector, friend and confidant for her Mother. Their bond was truly special and full of unconditional love. She spent a lot of time at the family’s home, and absolutely enjoyed helping her father learn how to navigate the computer, conversations about life, family and exchanging wisdom. She was truly blessed with her parents and their vital roles in her life. 

She enjoyed long walks, trips to the beach, and many experiences with her younger sister, Darleen. She shared so many joys and and even challenges of motherhood with her sister DeAnna (Dee), making sure their boys spent time together and that they became aware of how much the world has to offer. She enjoyed her younger brothers Darnell and Daryl and played the big sister role to its fullest extent. She understood the importance of self love and made the things priority that created enjoyment and bliss in her life …wearing her favorite colors, seeing new places and creating a happy atmosphere around friends and family, and loved her signature red nail polish. Her self-care also meant countless hours in Dee’s salon experimenting with hairstyles.

Paulette always had an adventurous spirit and often reminisced about her various trips to the Caribbean and Paris and the many places with the memories of the beauty of the Eiffel Tower and the romantic atmosphere as these became embedded in her spirit. Paris gave Paulette a chance to use her French, a language she studied in school and loved. She was absolutely cultured from her travels and enjoyed various cuisines from all over the globe, Paulette had a cultured palette when it came to food. She enjoyed Mediterranean, Vietnamese, BBQ, Indian cuisine, Caribbean, African cuisine and seafood, especially Maryland blue crabs.

Paulette’s love of travel continued on a more personal note with her frequent visits to Oklahoma where she spent time with her son David and her first and only grandson Amir, who affectionately called her “GG”. Paulette loved her visits with David’s family. She was proud of how intelligent Amir was and enjoyed joining in to teach Amir to read, spell, write and count. She also enjoyed watching and teaching problem solving tasks to Amir. Reading was dear to her heart because she started reading at the age of three and a half and never stopped. She was a speed reader, a skill she learned in high school. She read Roots, by Alex Haley in just three days. She was an avid reader of all kinds of literary works. She also enjoyed watching old movies.

Paulette’s time with David and Amir meant a lot to her. Paulette valued education and worked hard to make sure David was educated. David graduated with honors from Fork Union Military Academy and attended The University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Montgomery College. They were inseparable, she even put her fears of sleeping outdoors aside to be on camping trips with David during his time in cub scouts. Growing up, all of David’s childhood friends loved Paula and would continue that love throughout her life. Whether it be stopping to check on her while David was away or just calling to see if she needed anything. Their families became Paulette’s family also. Later in life , David would take his mom along on family vacations, and “just Go” getaways as David and Paulette called them. “You're my whole heart” is what David told Paulette frequently. Her focus on learning the world also continued with Amir, as she would spend time helping him to learn to cook and plant seeds, which connected to her own flower and vegetable garden at her home in MD. Paulette and Amir had a lot of fun exploring Oklahoma – visiting museums, aquariums, restaurants, and a number of children workshops and events. They spent time together at church and Paulette taught him to pray and sing hymns. Amir loved Paulette with all of his little heart. Even as a 4 year old, he would take Paulette on picnic dates and cook with David for GG’s breakfast. David’s family Sarah, Amirah, Alayah, Amir and Tre adored Paulette as she loved them all dearly. She will be missed by them all Greatly. The many friends she made in Oklahoma have all expressed their sentiments and prayers. The Oklahoma crew loved Paula.

Paulette’s spiritual life began in Cambridge, Dorchester County, MD where she was born. She was baptized at Bethel AME Church where she was a member of both Sunday school and the Youth Choir. Upon moving to Silver Spring in 1972, she joined St. John the Baptist Catholic Church with her family, and then later joined Reid Temple AME Church in Lanham, Md. Paulette was a strong advocate and proponent of the James A. Parker Lay Organization. She worked tirelessly as a layman to fulfill the mission of the laity in the church. She was a dedicated servant leader in the following positions, correspondence secretary, recording secretary, 1st Vice President and lastly as President. President Armstrong led with purposeful impact. An Instructor for the Reid Temple New Member Orientation classes, she had deep reverence for the AME church history and Discipline. She was committed to raise awareness for social justice and delighted to participate in the many social action activities as part of the JAPLO. Paulette supported and diligently attended meetings and conferences to support the Washington Conference Lay Organization, the Second Episcopal Lay Organization, Connectional Lay Organization (Biennial) and the AME General Conference to fulfill her duties as a lay person working in the vineyard. She often would say that she “grew up” in the lay, and she was correct, as she has served in the laity for 30 years.

Paulette was a member of Reid Temple’s Scholarship Committee, and Assistant Director of the Winifred F. Cameron Christian Debutantes and Masters Dedication Commission Ministry. Paulette gave freely of her time and talent to the Kingdom of God.

Paulette made a tremendous contribution in her professional life as well. She retired from Fairfax County Government in Fairfax, Virginia after 30 years of service where she was a Training Officer Specialist in Emotional Management for the Department of Organizational Development and Training. She conducted a number of trainings and was certified in Myers Briggs and Emotional Intelligence. She played a key role in many team building projects in the county, and was highly sought after, and often requested to assist with team building at the agency level. She also worked in the Fairfax County Executive’s office as a Management Analyst. In addition to her work in finance, she worked in community services, while introducing computer lab capabilities to low income area residents in northern Virginia and also supported several agencies. Her love was training. She was focused when tasked with leadership and technical responsibilities. Paulette received a number of work related recognitions, including the Outstanding Performance Award while working for the Organizational Training Division (OD&T), December, 2018. Paulette was highly respected and loved by her co-workers, and as one former co-worker expressed, “not everyone has that skill set.” Her co-workers remember her sense of style, caring heart, and words of wisdom. Paulette enjoyed her career and built many friendships at the office.

Paulette graduated from Springbrook High School in Silver Spring, Maryland in 1978, and was a “Who’s Who” among the entire country, each and every American High School, Top 100 academically. Paulette remained on the honor roll throughout her school career. She graduated from the University of Maryland College Park, in 1982 with a B.A. in English. She also graduated from Nyack College Alliance University with honors in Organizational Management achieving her masters degree.

Paulette spent some time living in Harlem, New York, and Virginia, before making her way back closer to family. She was an excellent big sister and made it a point to inspire and motivate her family, friends and co-workers.

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” – Proverbs 19:11…Paulette’s favorite scripture.

Andre Smith is Paulette’s brother-in-law, her sister Darleen’s husband, but he might as well be her blood brother. She loved Andre for always being there for her and playing a huge role in her son David’s life since youth. Darleen and Andre’s sons (Isaiah, Andre Jr) were always considered brothers to David.

Paulette was named after her Great-Grandmother Pauline, who she affectionately called Nanny (a name adopted by the rest of the family), and she was her Grandmother Satoria’s first and beloved granddaughter. While growing up, she spent a lot of time at her grandmother’s home playing with her Uncle Johnny who was more like a big brother than an uncle. They had a special bond, and Paulette naturally gravitated to him. Paula loved when her Uncle Johnny called her “niecee pooh”. Paulette and Uncle Johnny often credited Great-Grandmother Pauline with their love of cooking. She also embodied the essence of her Great-Grandmother with her contagious laughter, gentle, quiet spirit, kind soul and gardening. Paulette is the mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend whose spirit of love fills every corner of this room today, and will forever fill our hearts. We love you Paulette…forever and always!

Paulette transitioned life in Oklahoma, a few days after Thanksgiving while visiting David and Amir.

It is the Lord’s Purpose in Paulette’s life that will continue to embrace and sustain her family...Paulette is survived by David Nichols, (Son), Amir Nichols, (Grandson), Carolyn Armstrong, (Mother), William F. Armstrong, (Father), Sisters, DeAnna Braithwaite (Bernard) and Darleen Smith(Andre), Brothers, Darnell Armstrong (Tina) and Daryl J. Armstrong (deceased), nephews – Colin, Christian, Cordell, DeRay, Kenneth, Victor, Andre Jr., and Isaiah, a niece Deja, Uncles John Collins, Larry, Wayne, Gary, Gregory, and Ronald Meekins, Vertice Wright, Aunts Frances Collins, Mary Wright, Phyllis Calhoun, Gail Matthews, and Faye Perry, Great Nieces and Nephews and a host of Cousins, relatives and friends.

                                                 Paulette on this this Day December 19th 2022

                                                                 ❤    WE CELEBRATE YOU   ❤